Page 234 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 21

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Jewish Book Mon th
HE Midrash relates that when Ben Azzai quoted the verse
in Genesis 5.1, “This is the book of the generations of
Adam,” he commented cryptically, “This is the greatest prin-
ciple in the Law.” If an analogue is to be cited in Jewish history
as the cardinal source of our Jewish survival, that source would
be our books. Beginning with the Bible and extending through
the rich harvest that has been gleaned by the Jewish genius up
to our own day, our books have been our invincible rampart.
In dedicating ourselves to the Jewish book in its every aspect,
we of the Jewish Book Council feel that we are following in the
hallowed tradition that traces to Israel's earliest days.
It was therefore fitting that the Bible was the center of atten-
tion in communities across the nation during what turned out
to be the most successful observance of Jewish Book Month
in its 19-year history. The theme of the Month—“The Bible:
Eternal Book”—was particularly appropriate because of the new
translation of the Torah published by the Jewish Publication
Society of America. In scores of communities, the new transla-
tion as well as the Bible in general was the principal topic of
discussion at numerous events.
In Philadelphia, Pa. and New Haven, Conn., for example,
Dr. Harry M. Orlinsky, professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union
Col lege-Jewish Institute of Religion, and editor-in- chief of the
new Torah translation, was the guest speaker at local Jewish
Book Month celebrations. The Philadelphia observance was
sponsored by the YM-YWHA, Gratz College, and the Jewish
Library Association of Greater Philadelphia. “Storm Over the
Bible: the Jews, the Critics and the New Translation” was
the subject of the Book Month event in Cleveland, where Prof.
Cyrus H. Gordon of Brandeis University was the featured
speaker. It was held under the auspices of the local Jewish Book
Council, which is co-sponsored by the Cleveland Jewish Com-
munity Center and the Bureau of Jewish Education.
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